I’ve always been impressed by those people who can rock extremely long nails regularly. However, my lifestyle means short nails are much more practical and less likely to break. But short nails doesn’t mean boring nails! I am sharing with you three easy to DIY nail designs for short nails.
Before You Start
If you want your manicure to shine you need to take good care of your nails. If you want short nails to look good, you’ll need to give your cuticles some love and shape them properly.
Start with using a cuticle oil and gently, very gently push the cuticles back using an orange wood stick. This will make your nails look much more elegant and will help your manicure last longer.
Short or long, nails look better when they are shaped with a glass nail file. You don’t need to do anything complex: a squoval or oval shape looks great on short nails. Just make sure they are all the same length so the manicure looks even and no nail looks out of place.
The three easy nail designs for short nails below should be applied on a base coat that suits your requirements. This will help you avoid staining and will make your manicure last longer.
So, with all the prep out of the way, it’s time to explore some manicure ideas for short nails!
A Classic: French Manicure
A french manicure is timeless and will make your fingers look longer which is a nice bonus. It’s also office friendly even for the most corporate environments. It’s a natural looking nail with the tips painted with white varnish.
Some people choose to paint the white varnish straight on top of a transparent base, while others use a nude nail polish over the entire nail. Essie Ballet Slippers is a very popular one for this.
There are french manicure stickers that you can stick a bit below the free edge of your nail, right where you want the white section to start. It makes creating a crisp white like much easier! Or if you are feeling adventurous, replace the white with contrasting neon color, or even black.
Don’t forget a glossy top coat to raise your french manicure to the next level!
If you are after something more vivid than the french manicure, nail stamping is a good way to get yourself started with nail art. Stamping means transferring designs from metal stamping plates to nails using a stamper. And it’s really fun!
For short nails, geometric stamping works best, as you may not have enough space for a cutesy drawing or other non-repeating designs. But experiment to see what you like best!
Some combinations that work great on short nails are gold stamping over a blue background, silver on black or red and even a silver or gold glittery stamp over a nude polish base.
You will need a bit of equipment here, but nothing too expensive. Nail stamping kits usually include one or more stamping plates, a stamper and a scrapper (or you can use an old credit card for it). It may take some practice to learn how to perfectly lift the design from the plate and stamp it on the nail but the results are salon worthy.
This type of design combines the always popular negative space trend with a colorful manicure. Choose two complimentary colors, such as red and gold, black and silver or even two different finishes of the same color.
Leave the bottom half of the nail bare but for a transparent base coat, and alternate painting the tips in each of the two chosen colors. Quick and easy, but still eye-catching and will make your nails look longer.
And don’t forget to protect your manicure with a long lasting top coat. Quick dry top coats are perfect for nail art, as they minimise the risk of smudging all your hard work.